Welcome to my Direct Cellars Review!
Online businesses have become the norm for many people especially since the internet continues to become more accessible. If you have ever tried your hand at making money online, chances are that you may have come across the multi-level marketing (MLM) business model. MLM businesses tend to have a controversial reputation mainly because many companies that are based on this business model turn out to be scams or fail to fully take off. This review takes an in-depth look at Direct Cellars, one of the more unique MLM companies, to help you determine if it is worth your time and money.
WHAT IS DIRECT CELLARS?
Direct Cellars is a company in the wine market that is structured as an MLM. The company was founded in 2014 by David Distefano who also serves as the current CEO. According to their website, Direct Cellars has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; London, England; Melbourne, Victoria; Frankfurt, Germany; and Richmond, Canada. According to his Facebook page, Distefano’s previous experiences include working as an affiliate with Bidify (2012), Solavei (2012), and Talk Fusion (2013).
Direct Cellars supposedly has a direct connection with premium wineries and vineyards that produce a variety of wines. The company also claims to have expert winemakers who ensure that all the wines are handled with care, aged and blended precisely, and bottled in attractive bottles before they are shipped to customers.
WHAT PRODUCTS DOES THE COMPANY OFFER?
As previously mentioned, Direct Cellars exclusively markets wine. Here are some of the products advertised on their website:
- Tingui Cellars Merlot Valle Central 2018
This wine is described as having a deep ruby color that is darker than many other variations of Merlot. Flavors that include baked raspberry, spice, and blackberry hit the mid-palate when you drink the wine. The wine originates from Valle Central, Chile.
- Lazy Lab Vineyards Barbera Rose California 2017
This rose wine originates from Barbera in Northern Italy but is currently cultivated in California. The flavor of this light wine is a bit more reserved, but tasters will be able to distinguish raspberry, pink strawberry, and even a bit of plum. This version of the wine originates from California.
- Petit Joie Sauvignon Blanc
Although Sauvignon Blanc is grown in different parts of the world, it originates from France. This wine has a light straw color which means that it is a lighter-bodied wine. The aroma delivers an interesting mix of orange blossom, pineapple, and Meyer lemon.
- Stivale Del Sol Sangiovese
Sangovese is often associated with the Tuscany region of Italy although it originates from the Puglia district which is found in Italy’ southeast coast. The flavors comprise of mixed roses and lavender, as well as red plums, red berries, and dark cherry.
- Wild Brush Pinot Noir 2014
This Pinot Noir originates from the Monterey region that is found on the Pacific Coast of California. It is light on the palate and contains hints of light red mixed fruit, savory herb, and strawberry.
- Bellarong Chardonnay
This chardonnay wine originates from Riverina in Southeast Australia. It has a medium straw color when it is poured in the glass and has an aroma of green apple. Keen tasters will distinguish flavors of caramelized peach candy and pear.
- Amos Ridge Monastrell
This wine is made of the Mourvedre grape, or the Monastrell as it is more commonly known in Spain. When poured into a glass, it has a light ruby color and aromas of cherry, smoke, and cranberry. When it hits the palate, it has distinct flavors of plum, cranberry, black pepper, and smoke that is supported by soft tannins.
When you order wine from Direct Sellers, you get a selection of wines instead of an individual order. The amount of wine that you get will depend on your monthly subscription:
Customers get 2 bottles of wine for $69.95 per month or 4 bottles of wine for $99.95 per month. You can choose from red, white, or mixed wine.
- Affiliate members
Affiliate members get 2 bottles of wine for $49.95 per month or 4 bottles of wine for $79.95 per month. You get to choose from red, white, or mixed wine.
THE COST OF BECOMING PART OF THE DIRECT CELLARS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
To become an affiliate for Direct Cellars, you are required to purchase either of the following affiliate packages:
- Premium Wine Lover
This package consists of four bottles of wine for a cost of $249.95.
- Premium Wine Lover Elite
This package is made up of twelve bottles of wine that will cost you $499.95.
THE DIRECT CELLARS COMPENSATION PLAN
According to the Direct Cellars compensation plan, you have to sell wine subscriptions to retail customers every month as well as recruit new affiliates. Residual commissions are paid out monthly through a unilevel team and weekly through a binary team.
There are nine ranks that affiliates can achieve in the company’s compensation plan. Here is a look at each rank and the qualification criteria you are required to meet to achieve them.
- Wine Lover
To attain this rank, you have to sign up as a distributor for Direct Cellars as well as sponsor and maintain one affiliate.
- Wine Enthusiast
For this rank, you need to recruit and maintain a minimum of two affiliate members.
- Wine Critic
For the wine critic rank, you are expected to recruit and maintain three affiliate members that are ranked as wine enthusiasts.
- Wine Specialist
To attain the wine specialists rank, you have to recruit and maintain four affiliate members that are ranked as wine enthusiasts.
- Wine Expert
To achieve this rank, you have to recruit and maintain five affiliate members that are ranked as wine enthusiasts.
- Wine Connoisseur
To become a wine connoisseur, you have to recruit and maintain six affiliate members that are ranked as wine enthusiasts.
- Wine Aficionado
For the wine aficionado rank, you are required to recruit and maintain seven affiliate members that are ranked as wine enthusiasts.
- Wine Master
To attain this rank, you need to recruit and maintain a minimum of eight affiliate member that are ranked as wine enthusiasts.
- Master Cellar
For the master cellar rank, you have to recruit and maintain a minimum of nine affiliate members that are ranked as wine enthusiasts.
To start earning commissions as per the Direct Cellars commission plan, you have to refer and maintain two affiliates as well as maintain a $79.95 auto-ship per month. The affiliate members that you recruit are also expected to remain active by maintaining a monthly auto-ship for you to qualified to earn commissions
As a Direct Cellars affiliate, you receive $20 in commissions for every retail customer that you sign up, whether it is for a two-bottle or four-bottle purchase.
When you recruit affiliates, you will receive a commission. The amount in commissions that you receive will depend on how much the newly recruited affiliate spends on a membership:
- When you refer an affiliate that makes a Premium wine lover package purchase of $249.95, you will receive $125 in referral commissions.
- When the affiliate you recruit purchases the Premium wine lover elite package that costs $499.95, you will earn $250 in referral commissions.
Residual Binary Commissions
Affiliates can earn residual commissions that are paid out using a binary compensation plan. A binary pay plan is made up of 2 legs that both have unlimited depth. To qualify for these commissions, you have to be active on both legs. With the binary compensation plan, you receive commissions each week.
Each leg has a separate volume that contributes towards commissions. You receive payments from the leg that is weaker or has a lower sales volume, and any sales volume that may be leftover is carried over to the next week. The amount you receive from the weaker leg is solely determined by the rank that you attain.
- Wine enthusiast – earn 6%
- Wine critic – earn 8%
- Wine specialist – earn 10%
- Wine expert – earn 12%
- Wine connoisseur – earn 14%
- Wine aficionado – earn 16%
- Wine master – earn 18%
- Master cellar – earn 20%
Residual Unilevel Commissions
Direct Cellars also offers additional residual commissions that are paid out using a unilevel compensation plan. A unilevel payment plan will have you at the top, and every other affiliate that you recruit will be directly under you. If the affiliates on your first level recruit other affiliates, these recruits will be placed on the second level. If the second level affiliates recruit others, they will be placed on the third level, and so on.
Direct Cellars has nine levels on which you can receive commissions on the sales volume generated by your unilevel team. Your earnings are determined by your ranking:
- Wine lover – 10% on the first level only.
- Wine enthusiast – 10% on the first level and 5% on the second level.
- Wine critic – 10% on the first level and 5% on the second and third levels.
- Wine specialist – 10% on the first level, 5% on the second and third levels, and 4% on the fourth level.
- Wine expert – 10% on the first level, 5% on the second and third levels, and 4% on the fourth and fifth levels.
- Wine connoisseur – 10% on the first level, 5% on the second and third levels, 4% on the fourth and fifth levels, and 3% on the sixth level.
- Wine aficionado – 10% on the first level, 5% on the second and third levels, 4% on the fourth and fifth levels, and 3% on the sixth and seventh levels.
- Wine master – 10% on the first level, 5% on the second and third levels, 4% on the fourth and fifth levels, 3% on the sixth and seventh levels, and 2% on the eight level.
- Master cellar – 10% on the first level, 5% on the second and third levels, 4% on the fourth and fifth levels, 3% on the sixth and seventh levels, and 2% on the eighth and ninth levels.
Matching bonus commissions are also based on the unilevel payment plan. You can earn commissions on four levels of recruitment, with the amount varying depending on the rank that you achieve:
- Wine lover – 10% on the first level
- Wine enthusiast – 10% on the first level and 5% on the second level
- Wine critic – 10% on the first level, 5% on the second level, and 4% on the third level
- Wine specialist – 10% on the first level, 5% on the second level, 4% on the third level, and 3% on the fourth level.
- The product is unique
There are not too many MLM companies in the wine niche. This is refreshing especially when you consider all the health and wellness products that are commonplace in the MLM business space. As a result, it is might be relatively easier for affiliates to sell products from Direct Cellars.
- The compensation plan is straightforward
The compensation plan is simple and easy to follow, which is not too common with MLM companies. It is easy for affiliates to deduce how they are expected to earn commissions.
- The packages are expensive
To become a member of Direct Cellars, you are required to choose either a $249.95 package or a $499.95 package. The pricing of these packages is on the higher end, and not everyone is willing to spend that much money on these products.
- Relies on massive recruiting
To increase your earning and rise in ranks, you are expected to recruit new affiliates on all levels. This is one of the most difficult ways to build your business, and unless you already have a thriving platform that attracts a lot of visitors who are willing to buy your products, you are bound to have a hard time recruiting affiliates.
- The earning potential is low
Due to how the company is structured, affiliates do not make a lot of money especially with all the work that you are expected to put in.
- No income disclosure provided
There is no income disclosure statement that you can use for reference to determine the average earnings of affiliates who work for Direct Cellars.
Although Direct Cellars is legitimate, there is not much money to be made working as an affiliate for the company. This could be attributed to the fact that only those that have achieved the highest ranks make considerable amounts of money while everyone else has to make do with meager amounts despite working hard to meet the strict requirements. Therefore, unless you are willing to meet all these requirements and earn commissions that are far from impressive, I would not recommend investing in the company.
WHAT IS BETTER THAT DIRECT CELLARS?
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